Brillig Dry Bar in Ann Arbor, Michigan doesn’t serve alcohol, but owner Nic Sims is counting on customers not caring.
She hasn’t had a drink in 20 years, and she wanted to create a space where people—including, but not limited to, recovering alcoholics—could gather to have fun and socialize without worrying about drinking. In other words, she wants Brillig Dry Bar to have “a bar-like convivial atmosphere, with snacks and drinks and conversation, without it being a bar,” she said.
Sims runs the bar as a pop-up out of her husband’s coffee shop, Mighty Good Coffee. She serves interesting non-alcoholic drinks, like Brooklyn Egg Creams, Pomegranate-Rosemary Sodas, and Vegan Pumpkin Chillers, as well as snack plates with meats, cheeses, and cookies.
Though some detractors have accused Sims of being anti-alcohol, the bar’s opening night last Friday was packed. According to BuzzFeed, “Brillig’s first customers included former drinkers, pregnant women, Muslims, teenagers, and college kids.”